Call me tracing paper

3 March 2019

I’ve always defined myself by my actions therefore I’ve always been an artist. I drew and I painted. I was made of pencil shavings and midnight doses of inspiration scrawled on my bookshelves and doodled on the backs of my hands. I could look, close my eyes and see whatever it was burned on the inside of my eyelids, smell whatever it was in my nostrils, taste whatever it was on my tongue. I could take these senses, spread open my hand and smear, scribble, draw them in, bringing them out onto the surface, drawing out the essence of what was always inside the sheet of paper. I wrote poetry and stories. I could stand on my tip-toes, look out into the oncoming future and see words. Thick, beautiful, silky, scintillating words that would bubble and percolate in my brain until they’d rush from my fingertips onto the paper. They’d make no sense and I liked it that way because it meant people had to think about me and they had to try and understand. But then, I wasn’t able to write or draw for months. Something drained me of the passion I needed in order to decipher beauty and wistfulness from the space around me. I became made of fashion, text messages and nail polish. I lost my baby fat when I wrapped myself in a cocoon and sped up the maturing process. I came out a butterfly but my colors held the same hues as everyone else. I settled into a kaleidoscope of monotones and false laughter for years before I noticed the edges surrounding me. So I took my paintbrush, a couple of soft pastels and a thick ebony pencil and splashed and slashed until the walls crumble and I slipped through the cracks, stained in the tints of a new identity, a new life. Now I’m made of late nights, scrambled words jammed onto a piece of paper, cozy sweaters, glitter versus feathers, and a constant headache. I know very little about the person slamming against my skull. What I do know is, she’s yearning to explode into a thousand mirrors so that she can cast her light in every direction. Someday I’d like to sift through books I’ve written, peer into the wrinkles of clothing I’ve worn, squint in the shadowy corners of paintings I’ve painted and see me. I’d like to stand looking into the sun, moon or treeline and know where I’m going. I’d like to know who I am.

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